Example Of Essentialism In Education

839 Words 4 Pages
Assignments 4&5

Essentialism is the educational theory whose primary goal is to teach students the basics. The basics include reading, writing, and arithmetic in elementary and the additions of science, history, and foreign language in secondary school. The primary aim is to instill students with the “essentials” of academic knowledge. The teacher passes on this essential knowledge to the students. In Essentialism, the teacher is the leader of the classroom. They should be seen as the authority and the “giver of knowledge.” The teacher also establishes a strict, well-disciplined classroom. In a loud, disorganized environment, effective teaching could not occur according to the Essentialist. The teachers job is to interpret essential
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I sat in my seat and did what the teacher instructed me to do. Tests were a regurgitation of the information that the teacher had previously imparted. The teachers I remember the most are those that threw in an occasional hands-on activity that allowed me to get out of my seat and experience the learning-not just passively sit as a sponge and soak up what the teacher is delivering. Or the teacher that occasionally threw in time for class discussions. I particularly remember one elementary teacher who gave us “free Fridays.” If we agreed to play the game of sitting in our seats and following directions on Monday-Thursday, then on Friday she allowed us to take the lead. We would bring in things that we were interested in and present them to the class. I loved that class and the enthusiasm of Fridays. Ironically, that took place in 6th grade-the year that I decided I would become a teacher. Many years later as a 6th grade teacher myself, I often think of her and strive to make sure that my classes include that area of student interest. My college years were much the same as high school in the beginning. It was not until I entered my educational practicum classes did I actually get to be active and involved in planning and implementing lessons. However, it was in traditional classrooms that I was assigned to observe and …show more content…
In the beginning when I was observed, it was all about what I was doing and saying. Now, the shift for observations is more about what the students are doing or involved in. Learning is still guided by a set of predetermined standards set by the state. So, in some ways it still very much an Essentialist approach. However, the shift is more to the importance of students being an active learner rather than passive. Teachers now realize that students need to interact with each other and the material in order to learn. The information that the students are required to learn needs to be made personal for the students in order for them to learn. Students need to discover what type of learner they are and be allowed to learn in that method. Teachers have to carefully craft lessons that meet the differing modalities of the students. Differentiation is essential to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn. Flexible groups are necessary for the teacher to help meet the needs of all students. Students in my classroom are not in rows. They sit in groups or in flexible seating arrangements that best meet their learning styles. They are involved in active learning and problem-solving. The Essentialist approach was a breeze for the teacher compared to all that a teacher must think about and juggle in today’s classroom. Long gone are the days of the lesson plans that could be used

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